Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.
Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.
But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.
Fifty years ago, the military, foreign service and top political offices were all dominated by WASPs — white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
Yes, but could one run without keeping rich WASPy interests in mind? Or without at least some of their support? Nope. Nor is it possible to paint WASPs as a terrible group of people — they’ve simply been the majority. However, this represents an interesting shift insofar as who’s elected and selected in the realm of government and public service.